CRANSTON, R.I. – An eclectic and colorful midcentury modern auction featuring high-quality items pulled from estates across New England – including art glass, lighting, figures, bronzes, furniture by several top designers – is planned for Saturday, Sept. 14, by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
In all, 361 lots will come up for bid beginning at noon Eastern Time.
“There is always a special flare when it comes to putting together a specialty auction,” said Bruneau & Co. president Kevin Bruneau. “Modern and contemporary design is a hot category that brings a bunch of funky stuff to the market. It will be great to see what the Wendel Castle box hammers for.”
The Wendell Castle box in question is a carved wood jewelry or storage box with a curvaceous biomorphic lid. The box is incised ‘WC’ and dated “72” on the right side. It measures 9¾ inches by 14¼ inches and has an estimate of $2,500-$4,000. Wendell Castle (Kan./N.Y., 1932-2018) is considered the father of the art furniture movement. His pieces are highly collectible.
Travis Landry, a Bruneau & Co. specialist and auctioneer, predicted the auction “is sure to bring Modern collectors out of the woodwork, not just in Rhode Island but beyond,” adding, “From being able to offer a Walter Dorwin Teague sled radio and a two-piece Vladimir Kagan sofa and ottoman is an exciting opportunity. It makes auctioneering the sale that much more enjoyable.”
The sofa and ottoman set by Vladimir Kagan (German-American, 1927-2016) is a candidate for top lot of the auction, with an estimate of $6,000-$9,000. The orange biomorphic serpentine sofa and round, tapered ottoman rest on aluminum bases. The sofa, 110¼ inches in width, is signed on the bottom. The ottoman is 36 inches in diameter.
The Sparton model 557 sled radio designed by Walter Dorwin Teague (American, 1883-1960) is distinguished by a streamlined Art Deco style. Estimated at $2,000-$3,000, the radio features cobalt blue mirrors on the front, top and left side, with contrasting black lacquer finish and chrome speed lines. The case is in overall good condition, but the radio needs some repair.
A B and B Italia Maxalto white tufted bed by Patricia Urquiola (Italy, 2008) is expected to finish at $3,000-$5,000. The bed features a tufted rectangular headrest over matching tufted side rails and a footboard encasing a slatted wood bed frame. The bed, 96 inches deep by 80 inches wide, is upholstered in white leather and has a marked tag inside the bed frame, below the headrest.
A large and rare Gj Neville canister drum coffee table, made in the United States from steel, wood and glass in the 20th century, has an estimate of $2,000-$3,000. The squat, cylindrical metal table, 40 inches in diameter and 14½ inches tall, has a removable top to reveal storage space. Its only flaws are minor scuffs and light dents to the metal, and scratches on the mirror.
A large semi-abstract Modernist sensual nude painting by Diane Desmarais (Canadian, b. 1946) should reach $1,500-$2,500. The 84½-by-64¼-inch work is signed lower left and annotated “And I Say to Myself What a Wonderful World” on verso. Desmarais is a highly regarded Canadian contemporary artist who graduated from the Montreal Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1969.
A Ralph Lauren lacquer high style duke bar, made from rosewood and stainless steel, is estimated at $2,500-$3,500. The bar features a removable stainless-steel tray on a rectangular top over three drawers, over two doors opening to reveal one adjustable shelf. Flanking doors open to reveal four storage shelves on each side. The piece is 57½ inches wide.
For details contact Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-533-9980.